Sports fans in the United States are expected to wager $36.5 billion on Major League Baseball this season, according to an estimate by the American Gaming Association (AGA).
Of the $36.5 billion, $35.4 billion—roughly 97 percent—will be waged illegally through illicit websites and sports bookies.
“The amount waged illegally on professional baseball is another sign the federal ban on sports betting has become an utter failure,” said AGA president and CEO Geoff Freeman.
The American Gaming Association is the premier national trade group representing the $240 billion U.S. casino industry. Their goal is to protect consumers against harmful or misinformed public policies and paving a path for growth and prosperity as a champion of the gambling industry.
The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act says that Nevada is the only state that can offer traditional sports betting, but if anything, the ban on all other states has only helped sports betting grow.
In 2016, Americans wagered around $154 billion on all sports, nearly all illegally, and the failing federal ban on sport betting has only pushed sports fans further into an unprotected underground marketplace.
A regulated marketplace would lead to greater tax revenue, more jobs in local communities and provide consumer protection for sports fans.
According to Freeman, Washington D.C. needs to” stop depriving states of critical tax revenue and allow them to reap the rewards of a regulated market.”
The AGA uses the most conservative estimates of sports betting activity from the 1999 National Gambling Impact Study Commission’s Final Report to come up with its yearly gambling projections.
GDP growth, as reported by the Census Bureau, is applied and gambling activity on baseball in Nevada is used as an indicator of what the activity might be in regard to the entire illegal market.
Any fans that want to help lift the federal ban on sports betting can join the campaign at SportsBettingInAmerica.com.